Michel Drucker’s sofa promotion
SUNDAY CLOTHES – Since 1998, the owner of French television has been inviting stars on France 2 and then France 3 to sit on his mythical red sofa. An institution.
For a long time, Michel Drucker was a standing presenter. In the 70s, 80s, 90s, the Stakhanovist of varieties hosted in “Champs-Élysées” or “Stars 90”, the whole show business paraded on its stage where micro-wire in hand, he boasted the “tremendous“Serge Lama, the”Magnificent“Thierry Le Luron or the”imperial” Alain Delon. At the end of the 1990s, Drucker was 56 years old. A sacred monster has been dismissed from Sunday: Jacques Martin. Another will replace it. And this time, Michel Drucker will be seated.
After the psychodrama of spring 1998 when the Emperor saw his “Fan School” closed, the return of Michel Drucker is scrutinized. How to differentiate yourself from Jacques Martin? His program “Vivement dimanche” gives pride of place to the stars: for two hours, a guest is celebrated. It tells about his career, his triumphs, his friends, his tastes, his favorites, etc. A good-natured television panegyric. The actor, the singer, the comedian or the athlete is highlighted by a Michel Drucker at the top of his art. Another star of the program: the red sofa. Made in the Jipanco workshops, this element of the decor is reassuring. The viewer, himself on his sofa, has the impression of attending a family reunion after the Sunday meal. Soon, bitches, Olga then Izia, will settle there.
Politics in Majesty
In the list of guests: Johnny, Sardou, Luchini, Bedos (father and son), Gerra, Vartan, Sheila, Dutronc (father and son), etc. In short, the big family. But Drucker will very quickly innovate. He decided in 1999 to invite politicians. Daniel Cohn-Bendit opens the ball, followed by Martine Aubry. The “lady of the 35 Hours” breaks her image and shows herself to be both sympathetic and funny. Gérard Miller, then columnist in the rest of the show (we will come back to this), attacks him: “Here, I have two bags with me. In the first, I have the broken promises of Jospin, and in the other, I have all the saucepans of the PS. Which one do I open?Here she bursts out laughing. “This show is probably the most important of my career as a politician.“, she says to Drucker who is quick to repeat it throughout the interview.
In 2002, Lionel Jospin refuses to spend a Sunday with Michel Drucker while Bernadette Chirac, decisive this time, ensures the re-election of her husband in front of 5.5 million viewers…
Politicians invite themselves to the red sofa which becomes an audiovisual ring in the middle of the presidential campaign: in 2002, Lionel Jospin refuses to spend a Sunday with Michel Drucker while Bernadette Chirac, decisive this time, ensures the re-election of her husband in front of 5.5 million viewers. This is just the beginning: every month, a politician will change his image or “will split the armoraccording to the established expression. No risk, no sensitive issue, plague the opponents. Michel Drucker, sponsor of the PAF, does not care and obtains the Grail: an exclusive interview at the Élysée Palace with Jacques Chirac. What is more, success is assured.
Shortness of breath
A success driven by the evening version: “Vivement dimanche dimanche”. Always on the couch, the promotion is more acidic and funny with the presence of chroniclers: the psychologist Gérard Miller (who leaves his couch for a couch), the Belgian comic book author Philippe Geluck and a ghost, the journalist Bruno Masure. The small band ensures the good atmosphere, gently tickles the guest and allows the program to resist very well against the new war machine of TF1 “Seven to eight”. Jean-Pierre Coffe, Pierre Bénichou or Jean-Pierre Elkabbach will follow one another on the red sofa.
But how to renew oneself as the years pass and mainstream stars become rarer? From the 2010s, Drucker is going around in circles a bit. Audiences are falling – less than 2 million in 2015 – and the public is aging. France 2 takes a radical decision in 2016 as it had done eighteen years before with Jacques Martin. The first part of “Vivement dimanche” is deleted, the second maintained. Except that Michel Drucker is never finished. In view of the audiences of its successor, the red sofa returns in 2018. Without the same flavor. The show is long, without charm, without warmth… and without viewers. The program is transferred to France 3 at the start of the 2022 school year.. Despite his health problems, who have kept him off the air since January, the octogenarian ensures that he will soon be back on his red sofa. Michel Drucker is still standing.